More than chocolates and angry singles

By: Juliyana Straley
Twitter: @jstraley7

Valentine’s Day: the dreaded time of year where flowers and chocolates are dramatically overpriced, and singles grow angry. Contrary to popular belief, it is not a made-up Hallmark holiday. Valentine’s Day dates back to Roman times.
From February 13th to 15th, the Romans celebrated the feast of Lupercalia where a goat and dog were sacrificed, and women were whipped with animal hides. Women would actually line up to be whipped as they believed it would make them fertile. And, on February 14th, Emperor Claudius II executed two men, during different years, both named Valentine who are honored by the Catholic Church.
A little different than the Valentine’s Day we know and love (or hate) now, isn’t it? The holiday actually became less morbid through the woks of Chaucer and Shakespeare. Then, Hallmark came into play and the holiday has become an almost 20 billion dollar a year industry.
At the end of the day, holidays are what you make out of them. Whether you decide to celebrate Valentine’s Day or not is purely up to you, but before you make fun of your couple friends, take a step back to look at the holidays you choose to celebrate.
Do you go out for St. Patrick’s Day? If you do and don’t understand anything about St. Patrick or Irish history, then this is simply an excuse to go out and drink copious amounts of alcohol. What about cooking out for Memorial Day or Labor Day? Do you recognize those days are more than corn on the cob and beer?
Setting aside a day a year to show someone how much you love them is a wonderful thought. It may mean spending a few extra bucks, but it may not. It is all about how you celebrate it. Valentine’s Day isn’t about diamonds and dozens of flowers, it is about showing those important people in your life how much you care for them.
Even though Valentine’s Day had its dark origins, it is not a fake holiday. It is a holiday about love and compassion; things this world could use a little more of.

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